News archive 2008
£1.4m for maths and science education research12 May 2008, PR 87/08
Academics from the College’s Department of Education & Professional Studies have won £1.4 million to undertake research to help the next generation of school children develop the mathematics and science skills needed to keep the UK competitive.
Two awards, from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), have been made to Dr Jeremy Hodgen, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education, and Professor Jonathan Osborne, Head of the Department of Education & Professional Studies, respectively. They successfully bid for two of only five awards available.
In total the ESRC made £3 million available and the initiative attracted 56 bids, of which 13 were shortlisted with four from King’s. Professor Osborne, working with Louise Archer, won the largest grant – £745,591.
These ESRC awards are part of the Targeted Research Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education, which focuses on research capable of leading to significant increases in participation, engagement and learning of children and young people in the UK in science, engineering and mathematics. The aim is to support the development of research–informed policy and practice with the potential to make a significant contribution to ensuring that future generations have the mathematical and scientific skills required by the UK as a competitive knowledge economy.
Professor Osborne comments: ‘I am absolutely delighted that we have won two of the five awards available. This success clearly demonstrates the Department’s excellence in mathematics and science educational research. We want make this work contribute to ensuring that there is a flow of highly-skilled graduates for future research, teaching, business and other careers requiring such skills, and that future citizens have the capacity to engage more fully in debates about, and to benefit from, science and technology.’
Dr Jeremy Hodgen: Increasing Competence and Confidence in Algebra and Multiplicative Structures
Dr Hodgen has been awarded £649,546 for a 4 year project that seeks to increase student engagement and achievement in mathematics education by focusing on the two topics at Key Stage 3 (KS3) that are central to the current mathematics curriculum: Algebra and Multiplicative reasoning. The study will examine how formative and diagnostic assessment can be used to improve participation and attainment.
It will consist of a large-scale survey of attainment and attitude at KS3, based on a representative sample of schools and students in England,. This will be followed by a design research collaboration with a group teacher-researchers and schools. The study will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Durham.
Professor Jonathan Osborne: Science Aspirations and Career Choice: Age 10-14.
Professor Osborne has been awarded £745,591 to investigate how young people’s educational and occupational aspirations are formed. There is now considerable evidence that children’s attitudes to school science in the UK begin to decline from age 10 onwards and that by age 14, the majority of students have broadly determined their future career path.
The research will consist of a five-year longitudinal study, with a random stratified cohort of 6,000 children, and a more detailed qualitative study. In addition, a research-informed intervention will be developed, in collaboration with teachers and external experts, to teach about science-based careers in KS3.
Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the ESRC, said that he was delighted at the opportunity that this funding would bring. ‘The successful projects will make a significant impact on a range of policy and practices for science and mathematics learning.’
The three other ECSR awards went to the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds, and Institute of Education.
Notes to editors
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres - more than any other university.
Department of Education & Professional Studies
King’s first entered the field of education in 1890 and was one of the earliest institutions to do so among British universities. It has a proud history of educational research which has contributed to improving practice, debates on public policy and addressing the concerns of professional communities. The Department provides programmes of study that help professionals critically analyse and effectively respond to changes in thinking and policy in their fields. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/education/
For more information about Professor Jonathan Osborne, see:
For more information about Dr Jeremy Hodgen, see: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/education/staff/jhodgen.html
The Economic and Social Research Council
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns. We aim to provide high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government. http://www.esrc.ac.uk/
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer, Public Relations Department, King’s College London. Tel: 020 7848 3073; email email@example.com
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